Monday, December 5, 2011

The night the lights went out in Connecticut

So, during our recent snowstorm, without power for six days, I needed something to DO.

The days were bright and sunny, which made things much easier to bear (until the sun set, that is). On most of our powerless days we got the kids dressed and outside to play as much as possible.

I couldn't work, couldn't write, couldn't chat or tweet or blog. Couldn't watch television or call my sisters.

We read, played outside, and I did a LOT of woodcuts.

I studied printmaking in college but haven't had time to devote to it since about 2003, when we moved to the Netherlands and I started my PhD.

As a testament to this, my husband Mike bought me printmaking supplies for my birthday in May of 2010, and I hadn't even touched them until the snowstorm.

So, I wanted to share some of the images here. These are all insects mentioned in my books about a mystery-solving bug-collecting 13 year old girl.

These first three are scans of the prints (that's the actual size), which are small enough to fit on the bed of our scanner. I hand-printed them, and you can see they are not consistent-- the blacks aren't getting dark enough. I've been researching printing at home on the internet, and I think the next run will be a lot better.




These last three are photos from my phone, so they're not great quality, but you can see the images. these prints are too large to fit on the scanner bed. The ant and mantis are about 8x12 and the dragonfly is about 12 x 14

The Velvet Ant-- she's kind of the star of my first book

Praying mantis

The one I think came out the best/the one I spent the most time on, cutting out every tiny cell in the wings: The dragonfly

 So, what do you think?

Do you hate bugs? (I know lots of people do- it won't hurt my feelings, I swear)

Do these prints give you the willies?

I think the strongest images are the katydid and the dragonfly (which not coincidentally took the most time. Maybe I like them because I literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into them?)

I would say the wasp and the beetle are my least favorite.


  1. I have to admit, I'm not a big bug person, but these are really beautiful!! I like the katydid the most. I'm looking forward to your book selling so I can educate myself a bit more :-)

  2. Not a big bug person at all, but those are super cool. The dragonfly is my hands down favorite. The detail on the wings is awesome. You should be very proud! :)

  3. Beautiful work. Very impressive.


  4. I'm with you about the katydid and dragonfly being the favourites. So cool that the unexpected downtime gave you the chance to pursue another creative outlet. Digging the new blog header, too!

  5. I really don't like bugs (except ladybugs because they're such friendly little things), but these are awesome! What a need thing to learn how to do =)

  6. I'm not a fan of bugs (like, AT ALL), but these images are actually quite lovely. :)

  7. Bugs don't bother me too much. I live out in the country so I can't get too upset about them or I'd be in a constant state of panic. These are really cool! I think I love the dragonfly the best too.

    And thank you so much for including me on your DAC 2012. It really means a lot to me. :)

  8. I'm not a fan of red velvet wasps in general, but these are all really lovely. I <3 dragonflies. We get them in droves on the pond in the backyard. I can sit and watch them for hours.

  9. These are great, Kat. I can't even imagine the amount of time it took.

  10. I LOATHE bugs--but your pics are gorgeous! It's also making me even more curious about your novels. I can't wait to read one (or more) of them!

  11. Bugs creep me out, but for some reason, I love these ones. Wow.

  12. I wouldn't call myself a bug fan, but these are beautiful! I especially love the dragonfly... he's lovely.

  13. Thanks Lo! Me, too.

    Meredith, I think the dragonfly is the "winner"-- my friends all liked it best, too.

    Thanks, Mooderino!

    That seems to be the consensus Sophia! I'm not sure what it means about me if the power goes out and I get all manic about something new...

    Thanks Jaime- ladybugs are great, aren't they?

    Thanks Pam. I knew they weren't your "thing" but I'm glad you like these guys.

    So kind of you to drop by Kasie- I think when you're in the country, you have to be okay with them (plus the city bugs are not the prettiest. Not even I like roaches).

    Carolyn, I KNOW! Did you know some can fly as fast as 65 mph. Isn't that incredible?

    Alicia- thanks so much. Those wings were very, very time consuming. :0) But I think it was worth it.

    Quita, I think you jumped when I collected a bug on WofA. I know! You guys need to read about Bea.

    Thanks Rida. I will win you guys over, one bug-hater at a time.

    Thanks Katy! I think dragonflies are among the easiest to appreciate.

    I think I feel a contest coming on... I'm waiting on some new paper, but maybe I should do a print from the dragonfly edition and give it away on the blog! *gears turn in brain*

  14. I'm a fan of bugs, and bug art, so I think these are really cool! Just don't make any tarantula ones, ick.

  15. You are so talented! They're all lovely, and I especially like the praying mantis and the dragonfly.

  16. Angelica- agreed!

    Thanks Joanne. I appreciate it. :0)

  17. I love these. They are gorgeous and amazing. I can't believe how talented you are. And I am pro-bug:)

  18. Christa-- thank you so much (and I'm thrilled to hear you're pro-bug)

  19. I am just stunned at how beautiful these are! A writer AND an artist! I'm in the majority here - no bugs for me! - but there's such beautiful detail in these woodcuts that one has to be impressed. While the dragonfly has detail on its side, I love katydid's personality. Bravo!

  20. I am just stunned at how beautiful these are! A writer AND an artist! I'm in the majority here - no bugs for me! - but there's such beautiful detail in these woodcuts that one has to be impressed. While the dragonfly has detail on its side, I love katydid's personality. Bravo!


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